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Could this Poole businessman have the cure for addictive behaviour?
9:07am Monday 17th September 2012 in Latest
THE experience of seeing his chain-smoking father die of cancer has inspired a businessman to invent a device for dealing with compulsive behaviours.
Grant Penfield of Poole is marketing the Moderator – a double-ring made of silicone which slips over two fingers and forces the wearer to think twice before pursuing their habit.
The idea came to him when he was playing with a dress ring which he inherited from |his father, who died aged 48 when Grant was only 25.
“It came to me spontaneously when playing with the ring and thinking about smoking,” said Grant.
He noticed that when he reached for a drink, the ring would clink against the glass and remind him how often he was picking up the glass.
The experience prompted him to devise a ring which would link the index and middle fingers – so the wearer would have to consciously take it off before smoking.
“My father smoked 60 cigarettes a day and drank,” said Grant.
“I got to thinking if he’d had The Moderator he could have at least cut down. If he’d smoked 20 a day, he might still be alive.”
Rather than launch the product untested, he spent £10,000 on research. The survey was conducted with 100 smokers aged 18-49, who were all looking to cut down. It showed 94 per cent were reminded by the Moderator that they were trying to cut down and 83 per cent smoked fewer cigarettes while wearing the device. And among his own circle, Grant says the Moderator has helped people cut down on snacking, scratching and even compulsive texting.
Grant, 56, moved to Poole from Nottingham in 1994 and is group managing director of the printing ink company Druckfarben in Stanley Green road.
He developed the Moderator with the help of Innovate Design in Salisbury.
It is produced by Superior of Ferndown, which makes seals for jet engines. Grant says he could have produced it more cheaply abroad but wanted to support British jobs and to have control of the texture and colours.
The Moderator sells on his website for £6.99, the price of a packet of cigarettes.
He hopes it could be taken up for a retailer – or even one day find its way into the NHS’s stop-smoking kits.